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Retro Review: Life Before Test Screenings

“And then the big Native American smothers him to death with a pillow after he sees that he’s been lobotomized! Wait, Mr. Producer! Where are you going?”

Pitching One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in an era of careful demographic selection and test audience input on filmmaking would ensure somebody would be going to an asylum. There’s no arguing that the ending, if not the whole film, would be softened today....


Pew! Pew! Pew! ‘Merica!!

GI Joe: Retaliation’s script is so horrible, it should be in MoMA. Just like some people can’t stop staring at the world’s ugliest dog, this screenplay is fascinatingly hideous blather. It’s entirely possible the whole script was verbs: “shoot, explode, stab, scream.” Nobody expects Sorkin-esque dialogue from a franchise whose most popular character is a mute ninja, but it would be nice if it wasn’t total drooling...


Cookies Tossed, Paradise Lost

Until now, writer/director Harmony Korine’s brand of artistic weirdness has been completely useless. Intentionally obtuse to the point of sloppy goofiness, his work has differed from student films solely because he wasn’t enrolled.

So how the H-E-double-hockey-sticks is Spring Breakers the most compelling, disorienting and sublime film of this young year?

If Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive got some of its...


Sex Bomb

To come of age when the modern world was doing the same had to feel profound. Children of the 1960s could turn teenage rage against causes of substance, like blossoming nuclear culture. The teenagers of today celebrate their sexual and intellectual emergence with angry tweets about Instagrammed food. But hey, it’s not like there’s some unjust war or nebulous ongoing foreign conflict to channel their hormonal...


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GRADE

Magic Mike XXL

The gang is back to dry hump. ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!

GRADE
B-

The Wolfpack

A fascinating documentary about a family locked away by their father who use film to escape.

GRADE
A-

Reader Recommends

Dope

A truly original indie comedy thriller with brains and heart. What more do you need, people?

GRADE
A

Inside Out

Inside the head of an 11-year-old girl controlled by her emotions. It's not quite as terrifying as that sounds.

GRADE
B-

Tomorrowland

Because no one should see it, maybe it should be called Neverland.

GRADE
D

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Jurassic World

As it turns out, it's STILL a bad idea to have a theme park with dinosaurs.

GRADE
B+

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